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1,000 Locals Reportedly Seek Treatment After Multi-Day Fire at Houston Chemical Facility
Roughly 1,000 people sought treatment at a pop-up treatment center for symptoms including nausea, headaches, and respiratory problems after Intercontinental Terminals Co.’s (ITC) chemical storage facility in Deer Park, Houston caught fire this week, Bloomberg reported on Friday, with at least 15 cases dubbed serious enough to warrant a transfer to local emergency rooms.

The massive fire broke out on March 17, releasing over 9 million pounds of pollutants into the region, and was eventually extinguished on March 20. The catastrophe also released large amounts of benzene, a carcinogenic chemical, in the form of vapor after the fire was put out. On Thursday, benzene levels detected near the facility spiked to 190.68 parts per billion, exceeding Texas Commission on Environmental Quality one-hour maximum safe exposure limits of 180 parts per billion. (The TCEQ wrote that level of exposure would cause “no lasting effects.”)

On Friday, Bloomberg reported, a wall at the facility collapsed amid another blaze, resulting in contamination of and a temporary shutdown of the busy Houston Ship Channel:
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  benzene 
8 hours ago by dchas
Black plumes replaced by cancer-causing benzene fumes in Houston after chemical fire extinguished, as expected
HOUSTON (Bloomberg) -- Even after the four-day fire is out at a Houston-area chemical storage complex, the real danger has emerged.

Cancer-causing benzene wafted across suburbs of the fourth-largest U.S. city Thursday, shutting roads, schools and industrial plants, and disrupting normal life for half a day. A major oil refinery in the heart of North America’s most important fuel-producing region told workers to stay home and the Texas National Guard deployed troops to assist with air monitoring. The benzene probably arose from charred chemical tanks as overnight winds stirred remnants of their contents, owner Intercontinental Terminals Co. said.

Even after the working-class suburb of Deer Park rescinded an order telling everyone to shut their windows and stay inside around lunchtime, the reprieve may be temporary, scientists warned. Warm temperatures that are swirling the air and dispersing toxic fumes will disappear after sunset, potentially allowing benzene to settle at ground level, said Jeff Evans, the meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service’s Houston office.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  benzene  petroleum 
yesterday by dchas
China sends task force to probe blast at chemical plant where green group says ‘problems were known’
Beijing said late on Friday it had sent a senior cabinet official to the site of a chemical plant blast in eastern China and set up a central government task force to investigate the cause of Thursday’s explosion.
But it was cold comfort to residents and environmental groups in Yancheng who believe the explosion at the Chenjiagang industrial park – which left at least 64 people dead and injured more than 600 – could prove their concerns over safety and pollution at the factory were valid.
Zhang Wenbin, from a local environmental protection group, recalled the scene when he arrived at the disaster zone surrounding the Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical plant late on Thursday.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
yesterday by dchas
Egypt: At least eight killed in chemical blast
At least eight people have been killed in an explosion at a chemical plant in Egypt, local security forces say.
Reuters news agency quoted them as saying that a further five people were injured as a tank exploded at a military-owned phosphates factory in the port of Ain Sokhna.
Civil defence forces cordoned off the area around the factory and the injured were taken to local hospitals.
State news agency Mena said the tank had exploded during testing.
It reported that 15 people were killed or injured.
Two medics told the AFP news agency that 10 bodies had been received at a morgue in Suez and families of victims had gathered outside.
Ain Sokhna is about 130km (80 miles) south-east of the capital Cairo. Popular with tourists, the Red Sea coastal town is also home to several petrochemical, ceramics and steel factories.
Egypt  industrial  explosion  death  petroleum 
2 days ago by dchas
Chemical Weapon Destruction To Begin At Army Depot
RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18)– The project to destroy the stockpile of chemical weapons housed at the Bluegrass Army Depot will begin soon.

The stockpile has been stored there since World War II.

Since the 1940s, stockpiles of chemical weapons such as mustard gas, sarin, and VX have been stored in igloos like the one at Bluegrass Army Depot. In a few months, the workers there will begin to remove the weapons and take them to newly constructed plants where they’ll be neutralized. They’ll start first with mustard gas in June.

“After being involved with the program for approximately 35 years, I’m pretty excited about how close we are now,” said Craig Williams, a member of the Governor’s Commission on Chemical Weapons Disposal.

The destruction requires precautions at every step to make sure it’s done safely. Williams, who works in many ways as a voice for the local community on the project, says he is impressed by what he’s seen.
us_KY  industrial  discovery  environmental  mustard_gas  waste 
2 days ago by dchas
Dozens killed and hundreds injured in explosion at Chinese chemical plant
An explosion at a pesticide plant in eastern China has killed at least 47 people and injured more than 600, state media said, the latest in a series of industrial accidents that has sparked widespread public anger.

The blast occurred on shortly before 3pm on Thursday afternoon in Yancheng in Jiangsu province, north of Shanghai.

The fire was not brought under control until the early hours of Friday, state television said.

Survivors were taken to 16 hospitals with 640 people being treated for injuries. Thirty-two of them were critically injured, it said.

The explosion at the plant owned by Tianjiayi Chemical sent fire spreading to neighbouring factories. Children at a kindergarten in the vicinity were also injured in the blast, media reported.

The cause of the blast was under investigation, but the company – which produces more than 30 organic chemical compounds, some of which are highly flammable – has been cited and fined for work safety violations in the past, the China Daily said.
China  industrial  explosion  death  flammables  pesticides 
2 days ago by dchas
Making Grass Flow Like Water to Save the Planet — Charm Industrial
Le charms industries producono idrogeno dalle biomasse. Le foglie, resti vegetali, resti di legno usati intasavano spesso il sistema di alimentazione dell'impianto. Ecco come hanno risolto. Molto interessante e pieno di concetti nuovi come "angolo di riposo", il bin activator, il motore di ricerca articoli accademici semantic-scholar, il problema del bridging, il rotary plow hopper ed altro
vibration-motor  flow  industrial  energy  bin-activator  angle-of-repose  semantic-scholar  research-and-development 
2 days ago by microspino
A Chemical Fire in Texas Has Been Extinguished, but Questions Over Safety Linger
The chemical fire consuming a Deer Park, Texas, plant this week was so big that it made its own weather. It drew comparisons to a wildfire, and the thick, dark plume of smoke traveled miles from the Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park. But despite appearances, the public officials and Texas' environmental regulator have assured the public that the air is safe to breathe.

The fire was extinguished on Wednesday, but questions about safety linger. On Monday, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said in a statement that it "had not detected any immediate health concerns at ground level."

The fire burned for four days, but officials said its direction mitigated potential health risks. The smoke rose thousands of feet into the air, where Jeff Lindner, Harris County's staff meteorologist, said it would not harm nearby communities, the Houston Chronicle reports. Even so, at least one company sent its workers home, and several school districts nearby canceled classes.

Chemicals fires like this one can release toxic chemicals into the air that are harmful to human health. According to the Chronicle, some of the tanks that were still on fire early Wednesday contained a blend of gasoline, xylene, naphtha, and pyrolysis gasoline. So what do we know about the possible lingering health risks?
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  toxics 
3 days ago by dchas
Deer Park fire reignites crisis of confidence in TCEQ [Opinion]
Not again.

That was my first thought Sunday after a large fire at a petrochemical storage facility sent a thick plume of black smoke over Houston. It started less than 24 hours after a blaze at ExxonMobil’s Baytown refinery.

Sadly, this March madness is a never-ending story here. The Houston Chronicle in 2016 reported that the region has a chemical fire or explosion every six weeks on average.

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I am sure someone will dismiss this as the unavoidable byproduct of being the nation’s petrochemical capital. That is simply not true. Chemical fires and explosions are largely preventable. So why do they continue to happen?
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  petroleum 
4 days ago by dchas
Maui Brewing Company employee injured in 55-gallon drum explosion
MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -One person was taken to a Maui hospital after suffering injuries while trying to open an 55-gallon drum Monday.
Maui officials say the Maui Brewing Company employee was using a plasma cutter to open the drum that once held rubbing alcohol.
The drum then exploded, causing the worker to suffer injuries to his face and forearm. Firefighters, medics and hazmat crews responded.
The man was rushed to the hospital in an unknown condition. Maui fire officials confirm the victim was conscious and alert when AMR transported him to Maui Memorial.
us_HI  industrial  explosion  injury  propanol 
5 days ago by dchas
Houston-area chemical fire expected to burn for days
HOUSTON — A fire at a Houston-area petrochemical storage site continued to rage late on Monday and is expected to burn for up to two more days, officials said, sending thick black smoke into the air for miles around.

Firefighters were making progress seeking to contain the blaze at Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC), with the number of giant storage tanks on fire reduced to six from seven earlier, said ITC spokeswoman Alice Richardson.

The blaze at a site along the Houston Ship Channel in Deer Park, Texas, began Sunday when a leak from a tank containing volatile naphtha ignited and spread to others in the same complex, the company said. The tanks hold tens of thousands of barrels of products used to boost gasoline octane, make solvents and plastics.

The blaze has not disrupted nearby refineries or shipping at the country's busiest petrochemical port, authorities said. The Houston Ship Channel is home to nine U.S. oil refineries that process 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd), or 12 percent of the national total.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  petroleum 
5 days ago by dchas
Deer Park petrochemical fire expected to last 'throughout the night'
Residents in Deer Park were urged to shelter in place for most of Sunday as a petrochemical fire raged at chemical storage facility in the city of 34,000.
The fire started around 10:30 a.m. and residents were advised to take shelter within a half hour as authorities then shut down State Highway 225 from Beltway 8 to Independence Parkway near the Intercontinental Terminals Company plant.
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ITC spokeswoman Alice Richardson said the fire was feared to have spread to another chemical tank, despite efforts by the company and local emergency responders to extinguish it with foam.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  petroleum 
6 days ago by dchas
Fire contained at Exxon's Baytown facility
A fire that broke out Saturday afternoon at Exxon Mobil's Baytown refinery has been contained by emergency officials.

No injuries were reported, according to a statement from company spokesperson Sarah Nordin.

The company was monitoring air quality but said they did not yet see evidence of "adverse impact."

The blaze broke out around 12:30 p.m., affecting a unit that the company said processes motor gasoline. It sent a thick cloud of dark smoke into the sky, captured in videos posted to social media.

Exxon and La Porte Office of Emergency Management officials both said that there was no need to find shelter-in-place locations.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  gasoline 
7 days ago by dchas
Fire burns out of control at Phillips 66 oil refinery in Carson
CARSON, Calif. (KABC) -- Firefighters battled a raging blaze at an oil refinery in Carson on Friday.

Los Angeles County firefighters responded to the massive fire at about 7:20 p.m. at the Phillips 66 oil refinery in the 1500 block of E. Sepulveda Boulevard.

Refinery officials told firefighters the blaze was a reported seal fire in a crude oil pump.

L.A. County fire officials said the fire involved three of four crude oil pumps with flames in the seals. The pumps have been shut down.
us_CA  industrial  fire  response  petroleum 
8 days ago by dchas
Springfield MA Chemical Spill Hospitalizes Four People Firefighters
SPRINGFIELD - Four people were sent to the hospital early Friday as a precaution after they were exposed to a chemical spill at the U.S. Postal Service Network Distribution Center in Indian Orchard, a fire official said.

Dennis Leger, aide to Fire Commissioner Bernard J. Calvi, said firefighters were called to the facility on Fiberloid Street just before 12:30 a.m. for a reported chemical spill.

He said approximately one gallon of an industrial-cleaning chemical containing oxalis acid was spilled at the facility. Exposure to oxalis acid can cause respiratory problems, and as a result, the scene was considered a hazardous materials emergency.

The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services Haz-Mat Team was called to the scene to assist.

The four people who were closest to the spill and potentially exposed were all brought to the hospital to be evaluated, Leger said.
us_MA  industrial  release  injury  cleaners 
8 days ago by dchas
Chemical factory goes up in flames
A major fire broke out in an industrial unit in the Phase 7 Industrial Area here, gutting the chemical factory this afternoon. However, no loss of life was reported in the incident.

According to eyewitnesses, multiple explosions were heard during the fire at the thinner factory as highly inflammable chemicals, that had been stored in barrels, exploded followed by ball of fire rising into the air.

The intensity of the fire was such that black smoke layers could be seen as far as 8 to 10 km from the city.
Four factory workers, who were working inside the factory when the blasts took place, scaled the walls of the factory to save their lives. The owner of the factory, Sat Pal Garg, was also inside the factory at the time of the incident. Workers said after they noticed the fire, they rushed out of the factory to save their lives. The owner also ran out.

Five fire engines were pressed into service by the Mohali Fire Department, besides a water boozer, which made 20 rounds to douse the fire. Three fire engines from Chandigarh were also pressed into service.
India  industrial  explosion  response  flammables 
8 days ago by dchas
12 people treated as hazmat crews investigate leak at business in O'Fallon, Mo.
O'FALLON, Mo. ( Hazmat crews are working to clean up a chemical spill that began early Wednesday morning near a business in O'Fallon, Mo.

Emergency crews were called to the 800 block of Hoff just after 8 a.m. for a reported organic peroxide leak. St. Charles County officials said the chemical started to produce a gas, causing a concern.

More than 12 people were treated for possible respiratory issues at the scene but it is unknown where the leak started.

The leak was contained within 30 minutes and there is no current threat to the public at this time, officials say.
us_MO  industrial  release  injury  peroxide 
10 days ago by dchas
Chemical fire breaks out in Driscoll
Emergency crews battled a large chemical fire in Driscoll, Texas.

The fire broke out Wednesday morning just before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at 100 S. Sunset St.

The Driscoll police chief said a couple of tanks ignited. Fire crews were concerned the blaze would reach two tanks nearby.

Officers temporarily shut down FM 665 near County Road 81, but the road reopened about 12:30.

No word on what caused the blaze at this time.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
10 days ago by dchas
ExxonMobil to pay civil penalty from deadly fire at Texas Refinery
WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with ExxonMobil Oil Corporation (ExxonMobil) today to resolve federal Clean Air Act claims arising from a 2013 fire at the company’s oil refinery in Beaumont, Texas that killed two employees and injured ten others.  In a complaint filed today with the settlement, the United States alleges that the company violated Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act, which requires measures to prevent accidental releases of extremely hazardous substances that can have serious public health and environmental consequences. 

The April 17, 2013, fire at the refinery occurred when workers used a torch to remove bolts from the top, or “head,” of a device called a heat exchanger.  The torch ignited hydrocarbons released from the head.  EPA’s inspection following the incident disclosed violations of Section 112(r) and of the regulations known as the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions. 
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  petroleum 
10 days ago by dchas

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